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Alberuni, Naipaul and Will Durant on Hindus

Vinod Kumar


The reaction of Hindus in the face of mounting terrorism  is very interesting -- I use "interesting" due to lack of knowledge of a more appropriate word.

Evidently Hindus have not learnt anything at least in the last thousand years.

Hindu vanity or folly has not gone away even though they were slaves for most of the last millennium.

Almost thousand years ago Al Beruni observed:
"We can only say, folly is an illness for which there is no medicine, and the Hindus believe that there is no country like theirs, no nation like theirs, no king like theirs, no religion like theirs, no science like theirs. They are haughty, foolishly vain, self-conceited, and stolid."

He goes on to observe that on theological topics "at the utmost they fight with words, but they will never stake their soul or body or their property on religious controversy."

When danger to their very survival stares them in the face they refuse to accept it.

""In another 10 years we will be so far ahead of Pakistan economically
that they will have no choice but to give up their India fixation or
go bankrupt trying to match us." -- they say.

It is true to some extent that India is ahead of Pakistan but per capita Income of Pakistan is still higher than that of India. India is richer in terms of total GDP -- but given India's size this is no wonder. If India's GDP was less than that of Pakistan, it would be really a shame.

But that aside -- even if India was much richer than Pakistan in every respect, this should be no solace. India was richer than any Muslim country -- or even all the Muslim countries combined thousand years ago when Mahmud (and Kasim -- 1300 years ago) started raping India. India's army was also much larger. India's riches or its military did not save India. Nehru blames India's prosperity for its invasions by the Muslims. Why would it be any different in the future. Already Hindus' prosperity today is being blamed for Muslim discontent and terrorism in India -- I will write on Muslim lack of education and poverty in another mail. "Muslims have not been given pie of India's prosperity" is a common refrain.

India was ill prepared to defend itself. Today again India has a military larger and stronger than Pakistan, and so it did thousand years ago. And the same goes for economy. What it lacked was the will to defend itself. Military of economic strength is not enough. A country needs these but much more. A realization of the danger and will to defend. Without these two all the wealth, economic and military power have no meaning. And India -- read Hindus -- don't have these two in their psyche.

V S Naipaul and Will Durant have commented on why India fell.

Naipaul talking of the betrayals by the Hindus to Muhammad bin Kasim (Sind 712CE) writes:
"It is first of the betrayals that will assist the Arab conquest. But they are not betrayals, really. They are no more than the actions of people who understand only that power is power, and believe they are only changing rulers; they cannot conceive that anew way is about to come."

Such betrayals continue even today.

Naipaul is commenting on the Hindu thought and this too has not changed. So Mahatma Gandhi could go to suggest that Jinnah should become the Prime Minister of India. He did not even have the foggiest idea that Jinnah had something else in mind.

Hindu leaders first kept on claiming there will be no Pakistan -- Mahatma Gandhi even went on to claim "It will be built over my dead body" and then failed to keep his promise. When Pakistan became a reality they kept on telling the Hindus in Pakistan not to leave and save their lives. There would be no change. Hindus will keep on living in Pakistan and Muslims will keep on living in India as if nothing has happened. "They were only changing rulers" as Naipaul observed Hindus thought and they still do.

When one talks of Muslims in India today, the reaction is not much different. Hindu never learns.

Will Durant:

"The Mohameddan conquest of India is probably the bloodiest story in history. It is a discouraging tale, for its evident moral is that civilization is a precarious thing, whose delicate complex of order and liberty, culture and peace may at any time be overthrown by barbarians from without or multiplying within. The Hindus had allowed their strength to be wasted in internal division and war; they had adopted religions like Buddhism and Jainism, which unnerved them for the tasks of life; they failed to organize their forces for the protection of their frontiers and their capitals, their wealth and their freedom, from the hordes of Scythians, Huns, Afghans, and Turks hovering about India's boundaries and waiting for national weakness to let them in. For four hundred years (600 - 1000 AD) India invited conquest: and at last it came."

He went on to write:

"This is the secret of the political history of modern India. Weakened by division, it succumbed to invaders, it lost all power of resistance, and took refuge in supernatural consolations; it argued that both mastery and slavery were superficial delusions, and concluded that freedom of the body or the nation was hardly worth defending in so brief a life. The bitter lesson that may be drawn from this tragedy is that eternal vigilance is the price of civilization. A nation must love peace, but keep its powder dry."

I will go on to add -- not only keep its powder dry but also have the will to use it.

And division of Hindu is more wide spread today than probably at any other time in history.

It is only enough to be vigilant on the external borders. One must also be careful, as Durant observes, of the "barbarians....... .. multiplying within."

I am not really surprised on the comments of Indians -- am I mistaken in assuming that they were all Hindus?

Really nothing has changed in the "ideological software" that a Hindu gets programmed with. As soon as he converts to Islam, his "ideological software" changes too and he becomes an altogether different person. Some of the Hindu converts to Islam were the worst killers of Hindus.

Life for Hindu will go on. 50 here or 60 there killed in violence is not going to change the Hindu mind when killing of a million in 1947 or millions in the last millennium didn't. Hindu is ever happy.

What a blessing?

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